Blood Money

This isn’t going to be about those two martial arts movies, but the cover was a neat way of hitting two birds with one stone as opposed to using a picture of blood on money. People talk about blood diamonds, but people should also consider the possibility of blood movies. I don’t mean snuff movies, but movies whose budgets came from the profits of crime. Not even crowdfunding is entirely absolved of criminal involvement. There is no government body in the world that can monitor how much a movie is truly sold for or collects elsewhere in the world (i.e. outside the country of the film’s production*). So, this is perfect for writing off huge losses that were never accrued, or for claiming huge profits in order to launder money. The best way to get rid of evidence in a counterfeiting ring is to find ways to dispose of the money on screen like someone who sets notes on fire or someone who triggers the fire alarm in a vault.

Then there’s the issue of how Bollywood became the second biggest film industry. I find this to be ironic given the superiority of Chinese films. However, India is such a big country that it was inevitable given how many people that the Indian film industry can profit from. Like in other parts of the world, Bollywood has a lot of shady investors who wouldn’t want to have their names credited for reasons that are obvious. A director named Anees Bazmee claimed that 60% of the money invested in a film is black money. It’s because of the very nature of financing films that you won’t find too many interviews with accountants. As bad as money laundering is, the worst way to find funding of a movie is to deliberately cause an accident so that you can use the insurance money. The porn business is involved in a lot of money laundering lawsuits, but (ironically given this article) that is the least interesting thing for me in terms of what goes on behind the scenes.

For quite some time, porn companies have borrowed props from mainstream productions, whether it be films or TV. This is easier to do because of how much mafia involvement that there is in the seedier side of the entertainment industry. For example, look at the success of Deep Throat. A vast amount of theaters that screened the film were actually mob-connected enterprises. Besides being an inconspicuous place to conduct other kinds of business, owning a theater allowed mobsters to inflate box office receipts as a way of laundering income from various vices. Las Vegas is a hotbed for the mafia because of the casino enterprises. The caveat is that you rarely see a porno being filmed inside the Caesars Palace. In the pre-millennium days of film-making, it was easy to blame a big budget on salary until it became commonplace for sites to list the net-worth of cast members.

In theory, the porn industry should be able to make their own props and sets because of how much money that the industry makes. However, time is money, and there’s too much loss of money in creating extravagant things for such lowly productions. On her Twitter account, porn star Jessica Drake documented the making of a Sci-Fi porn movie called 2040 (i.e. all of the screenshots contained in this article). For a porno, it took a long time to get made. Pre-production began in late May of 2009 and filming had finished by the time that it was August 11. The above shot is a good example of the production’s ambition. It’s not every day that you get to see a helicopter in a porn movie. It’s especially worth noting because you rarely get to see a legitimate action film in the porn genre despite there being sex scenes in a lot of action movies.

Mainstream Hollywood studios are okay with lending things to porn companies because they don’t have to worry about having their thunder stolen.  This is because the average person is more likely to watch a mainstream Hollywood production than a porn one. Even if they were to happen upon a porno which borrows production values from the more esteemed productions, the Hollywood bigwigs can sleep easy knowing that their prestigious productions will be released earlier ahead of time. While porn companies can be allowed to borrow things like costumes and even make-up designs from Hollywood studios, a hard line is drawn when it comes to CGI effects or even borrowing footage.

In keeping with the title of this article, you have to question where some property masters get their things from. If a scene requires a skeleton, a dismembered limb or some other kind of organ, who’s to say that it’s not possible for a mafioso to contribute to a production by donating what once belonged to a rival gangster or some other person who was on their hit list. Even a scene that requires a gallon or more of blood could easily have come from a blood bank whose official label denotes it as belonging to dead cattle. Crime often instils a feeling of horror, and horror is about crime, so it’s only natural that the world of crime and the world of horror film-making overlap to the extent that the lines are blurred.

* But even then, it’s easy to get away with money laundering. While not all politicians are corrupt, there are a select few who use the film-making tax fund as a way to dump their own dubious income.

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